Parker: "Preliminary Report... Everyone Off The Plane
And Accounted For"
ANN REALTIME REPORTING 01.15.09 1807 EST: New
York Mayor Michael Bloomberg tells reporters he has spoken with the
pilot of US Airways Flight 1549, who assured the mayor he walked
through the cabin of the ditched airliner to verify everyone was
off the aircraft before he, too, abandoned the plane.
Officials remain cautious in stating there were no fatalities in
the Thursday afternoon accident, though at this time it does appear
everyone was able to exit the plane. Firm confirmation remains
difficult to come by, as passengers in need of medical care were
transported to hospitals in both New York and New Jersey.
Meanwhile, a makeshift aircraft salvage operation is underway
near Battery Park, as tugboat crews work with Coast Guard officials
to move the listing A320 away from the main Hudson River shipping
1715 EST: While official confirmation has not
been made, there are more indications everyone onboard US Airways
Flight 1549 survived the ditching of the airliner in the Hudson
River two hours ago.
"Our preliminary report [indicates] everyone is off the plane
and accounted for," said Doug Parker, US Airways CEO in a press
conference in Tempe.
Parker stated there were 150 passengers and five crewmembers
onboard the A320, which was bound for Charlotte, NC.
Reports indicate the airliner encountered a large flock of geese
on climbout from LaGuardia, which shut down both of the plane's
engines. CNN reports the plane's pilot reported a double engine
flameout as the result of bird strikes shortly before the aircraft
hit the water.
Area hospitals report several passengers are being treated
for comparatively minor injuries, ranging from hypothermia to
The National Transportation Safety Board has dispatched a Go
Team to investigate the accident. The NTSB identified the accident
airframe as N106US, which entered service with US Air in 1999.
(The spectacular photos above were taken by Gregory Lam, a
photographer close to the scene who captured these amazing
pix. Used by ANN under guidelines of Creative Commons
1640 EST: We are hesitant to report this, for
fear of being wrong... but CNN and MSNBC, citing FAA
officials, state all passengers onboard a US Airways A320 that
ditched in the Hudson River in New York City are accounted for, and
Video from the scene (shown above) shows most of the airliner
now underwater, with only the upper 2/3 of the tail still visible.
Amazingly, the aircraft survived the water landing intact, greatly
increasing the chances of survival for those onboard.
Officials have cheered the skill of the plane's flight crew, who
guided the narrowbody airliner to the very textbook definition of a
The Airbus A320 may carry as many as
175 passengers. At least 135 passengers and crew were onboard the
plane; CNN reports 148 passengers and six crewmembers, though those
numbers have not been verified by US Airways.
The airliner came down near a number of ferries traveling
between Manhattan and New Jersey, and within sight of the Intrepid
Sea-Air-Space-Museum. In the moments after the crash, passengers
initially stood on the plane's wings and horizontal stabilizer,
awaiting rescue in the sub-40-degree (F) water.
1540 EST (Updated 1620 EST): New York City
firefighters are on the scene of a plane crash in the Hudson River.
At least three ferry boats and firefighters in rubber rafts
are converging on a US Airways airliner.
CNN reports Flight 1549, an Airbus A320, was
attempting to return to New York LaGuardia when the aircraft
impacted the water at approximately 1525 EST. Witnesses said the
plane came in at a shallow approach angle, at a low speed.
The plane had departed Runway 4 at LGA five minutes earlier,
bound for Charlotte, NC. The plane climbed to approximately
3,200 feet MSL before it descended quickly. There are
reports the pilot was attempting to make an emergency landing
atTeterboro Airport in New Jersey.
Online tracking data showed the plane at 300 feet MSL over the
river, at 153 knots, before radar contact was lost
The FAA has tentatively stated multiple bird strikes may have
felled the airliner.
There are no immediate reports of casualties. At this
time, most of the fuselage has sank below the water
level, with only the upper portion of the rear fuselage and
the plane's tail still above the surface. Most if not all
emergency exits appear to be underwater.
Alberto Panero, a passenger onboard the airliner, told CNN
via cellphone the plane "shuddered" shortly after
takeoff, with the smell of smoke in the cabin. The pilot
told passengers to "prepare for impact" immediately before the
Panero added he believes most if not all the 135 passengers
onboard were able to evacuate the plane through the forward
exit doors. Video from the scene shows both forward exit doors, and
the port side over-wing exits, open and still above the waterline,
nearly an hour after the accident. The aircraft is reportedly
drifting slowly in water.
Another passenger tells CNN the aircraft was climbing out of LGA
when the plane shuddered, and the port engine caught fire.
US Coast Guard first responder boats have dropped life jackets
in the water to assist survivors.